Does size matter?
 
 

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Does size matter?

This is a discussion on Does size matter? within the Reining forums, part of the Western Riding category
  • Size of reining and cutting horses
  • Reining horse sizes

 
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    05-20-2010, 09:01 AM
  #1
Banned
Does size matter?

I always thought that smaller horses had the advantage in reining. Like cow horses (after all they are pretty much the same), reining horses can get low to the ground a heck of a lot easier if they are 14-14.3hh-ish. I can see how being smaller would make it easier to do roll backs, sliding stops, and even the spins.

But can bigger horses still play the game? What would your cut off size be when looking at a horse's potential in reining?
     
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    05-20-2010, 10:07 AM
  #2
Trained
The trend in cowhorses is going the other way. More cowhorses are being bred to be 15-15.3 so that they have the size and speed to better handle cattle. Cutting horses and reining horses are going to stay on the smaller side because it is easier for them to get down and move fast. Also reining horses look faster when they spin when they are shorter head to tail than a horse that is longer.
     
    05-20-2010, 11:28 AM
  #3
Banned
Quote:
Originally Posted by kevinshorses    
The trend in cowhorses is going the other way. More cowhorses are being bred to be 15-15.3 so that they have the size and speed to better handle cattle.
Are you talking about events like roping? Or like the reined cow horse classes?

I've seen a few versatility ranch horse competitions and thought those horses seemed a little bit bigger than the cutting and reining horses.
     
    05-20-2010, 11:32 AM
  #4
Trained
Bigger horses can absolutely play the game. I like a cowhorse to be between 14.3-15.2hh, but at my shows I've seen decent ones be up to 16hh, and one girls rides a monster horse at 17hh. Nobody really knows her name but they all know her hrose because she's huge...Not the most brilliant reiner, but he can do it well enough I suppose. Funny to watch
     
    05-20-2010, 01:26 PM
  #5
Trained
Quote:
Originally Posted by IllComeALopin    
Are you talking about events like roping? Or like the reined cow horse classes?

I've seen a few versatility ranch horse competitions and thought those horses seemed a little bit bigger than the cutting and reining horses.
Reined cowhorse and versitility ranch classes are trending toward larger horses because they need alittle more speed and there are alot of opportunities for the older horses if they stay sound. I have seen some cutting type horses that had really good runs in the herd work and the dry work but when it came time to do the fence work with the cow they were not fast enough or big enough to control it well.
     
    05-20-2010, 02:34 PM
  #6
Banned
Makes sense. Thanks.

Understandable that it must take a bold horse to run down the fence and stop a cow.

I know traditionally, real working ranches use tough bigger horses. I assume becuase one horse must chase cows, be agressive enough to throw his weight around when needed, be able to handle the roping and the pulling, as well as cover some ground when asked.
     
    05-20-2010, 03:11 PM
  #7
Trained
At least here in the west where ranches are bigger and rougher and the cattle are more scattered you don't typically see the 14 hand cutting bred horses being used on the ranches. In fact alot of ranches crossbreed thier QH's with drafts and/or TB's to get some size and muscle.
     
    05-22-2010, 11:59 AM
  #8
Trained
I like my reiners and reined cow horses between 14'2 and 15hh. They are fast enough and large enough to handle the cattle even on the rail and small enough to work well in the reined part of both events.
     
    06-06-2010, 09:13 PM
  #9
Foal
Im working a TB right now in rening and he's a good 16hh I would say but he can sure get down and durty I think it realy depends on the horses want to get down and work btw the horse is also off the track he was a big winner too. But im not going to be competing on him were teaching him rening so he can handel himself better on the barrels.
     
    06-06-2010, 09:18 PM
  #10
Super Moderator
I would think just about any size horse could do the event if trained properly and physically capable, but I think you are right, the smaller ones excel. I just came from a 3 day show, the reiners were all 15 hands and smaller. They were really neat to watch. They made me nervous in the warm up the way they fly around the ring and then slam on the breaks but they are really cool to watch. I'd love to sit on one and spin!
     

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